‘This Is The Tree I’ve Had The Longest’

‘This Is The Tree I’ve Had The Longest’

Anyone with a bonsai garden can point to that one tree that predates all others. For me, it’s a juniper. And that’s the tree that I wish to share today. The history of this one is memorable for me, collecting it as an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) on the rocky shores of a lake near […]

Tree-like Juniper Styling

Tree-like Juniper Styling

Often we style a juniper as an abstract form. Many species are, after all, shrubs, and have no clear form. And then, deadwood features often go off into sculpural wonderlands quite unrelated to trees, other than being made of wood. This Rocky Mountain Juniper, Juniperus scopulorum,  was collected by Steve Varland of Backcountry Bonsai. When […]

Rocky Mountain Juniper: Alternative Methods

Rocky Mountain Juniper: Alternative Methods

The styling of any yamadori juniper assumes the bending of old wood, and only in unusual circumstances can one avoid this. The tree featured here, collected by Randy Knight, was one such outlier. During the early years after collection some young shoots grew inside and near the trunk. I spoke with my client about an alternative […]

Revisit: Shimpaku/Rocky Cascade

Revisit: Shimpaku/Rocky Cascade

Revisits are good for showing how bonsai change over time. It’s been four years since we saw this juniper, years in which it’s been trudging along keeping its head down—quite literally, it’s a cascade—and yet making visible strides during those years, too. As a quick recap, the trunk of this tree is Rocky Mountain Juniper and […]

A Juniper Orchid (to go with our Pine Orchid…)

A Juniper Orchid (to go with our Pine Orchid…)

Some of you might remember a quirky Shore Pine that we put on a post in 2017, calling it the first Pine Orchid in the yard. Yesterday this juniper was styled, and it hangs on the neighboring post that supports the shade cloth structure (thank you Bobby Curttright). The juniper is a bit of a Frankenstein: […]

Juniper Tips Dying?

Juniper Tips Dying?

If they are, you likely have juniper tip blight, or phomopsis. This is a fungus that attacks the growing tip of the juniper, usually in spring when the temps are mild, around 60 F / 15 C or so, and during humid or wet weather. It attacks many species of juniper. Native North American junipers […]

Juniper Jin and Pine Jin-

Juniper Jin and Pine Jin-

A month ago we started talking about pine jin. Here are some photos and thoughts about pine and juniper jin and how they differ. This is a pine jin. It looks cut off, doesn’t it? But it’s never been touched. This is what a dead pine branch will do if left to its own devices, […]

Impressions from the BCI / Asia-Pacific / HWA-FONG / 1st Bonsai Science Symposium

Impressions from the BCI / Asia-Pacific / HWA-FONG / 1st Bonsai Science Symposium

This has been a stimulating, massive, thought-provoking, multiple-organization event hosted in Taichung, Taiwan. Today I’ll just show some images and some initial thoughts, and will do a follow-up post when I’ve had time to compose some further thoughts. Enjoy the photos! I do apologize for the quality of them, they were phone photos and not […]

Front Renewed…A Rocky Mountain Juniper Gets a Makeover-

Front Renewed…A Rocky Mountain Juniper Gets a Makeover-

This tree has some history in the garden. We nicknamed it ‘The Fish’ to distinguish it from junipers in the garden that resemble other animals. Last week we changed it to a new front, which had been raised as an option for some years now, and we finally took the bait… The original front of […]

Experiment Results: Foemina Juniper Maintained as Japanese Needle Juniper

Experiment Results: Foemina Juniper Maintained as Japanese Needle Juniper

Several years ago I began working with a client who had a Foemina Juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Foemina’, of some provenance. The bonsai was created by Shig Miya over 30 years ago from an air layer, and the tree’s only branch was grafted on—a true feat of plant engineering. At the time we began on this […]